Daffodils – Important Questions

The poem Daffodils’ or ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ is one of the loveliest and best-known poems of William Wordsworth. The very starting line of the poem “I wandered lonely as a cloud” informs the poet’s profound sentiments of being left alone. It was actually the death of his brother John that led him to “loneliness.” The poem was thus not a result of imagination, but that of actual visualization.

Important Question and Answers

Q. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

1. Who is referred to ‘I’ in the extract? Where is ‘I’ and what is he doing?

Ans. The poet William Wordsworth is referred to ‘I’ in the extract. He is wandering lonely in a natural scenery as a cloud in the sky that freely floats over the hills and valleys, when suddenly he sees a beautiful spectacle of golden bright daffodils near the lake and under the boughs of the trees.

2. Explain the following lines:

When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;

Ans. All at once the poet notices a group of daffodils waving in the breeze. He calls them a ‘crowd’ because they are packed tightly together. Then he elaborates the word ‘crowd’ by adding the noun ‘host’. A host is a big group. As the daffodils are large in numbers, the poet refers them as a ‘host’. The figure of speech used in ‘A host of daffodils‘ is personification as the daffodils are personified and given human qualities.

3. Why do you think the poet refers to the daffodils as golden?

Ans. While wandering alone around through the hills and valleys, the poet notices a group of daffodil flowers. The poet is enchanted to see the bright yellow colour of daffodils. He poet uses the word ‘golden’ to create more majestic sound in the poem. His enthusiasm and love towards nature is reflected in the term ‘golden’.

4. Describe the scene in your own words.

Ans. The poet was lonely and was just wandering here and there when he saw a large group of bright and beautiful daffodils under the trees, along the bank of a lake. The flowers were moving due to the soft breeze which blew over their heads in a beautiful way. It seemed that they were dancing.

5. How does the poet describe himself in the first two lines? Do you think the use of the word “wandered” appropriate here?

Ans. The speaker describes how he walked around and felt as lonely as a cloud. He doesn’t say, “walked around”, but uses the much more descriptive word “wandered.” The verb “to wander” means “to roam around.” Here, the past tense form of this verb has been used to suggest the feeling of purposelessness and directionlessness. Thus, the use of this word is appropriate as it reflects the sad mood of the poet.

6. What does the use of the phrase “lonely as a cloud” suggest?

Ans. Usually, the clouds are not supposed to be lonely. It’s more likely, the speaker is projecting his own loneliness on the clouds. But that still doesn’t explain the strange image, because clouds usually travel in groups. Maybe a cloud is lonely because it is so far above the rest of the world. Also, the cloud could be lonely because it floats over a natural landscape with no people in it. Maybe the speaker has thought of hills and valleys because he happens to be “wandering” through such a landscape.

Q. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

1. With what does the poet compare the daffodils? Explain the resemblance.

Ans. The poet is enchanted by the sight of the daffodils, shining beautifully in the sun and so he compares the daffodils with the stars that shine and twinkle in the Milky Way. The poet says that the flowers were countless and stretched continuously along the edge of the lake as the stars in the Milky Way.

2. Explain the lines- “They stretched in never-ending line, along the margin of a bay:”

Ans. The poet is attracted towards a large number of golden daffodils. He possesses the eagerness to watch them more carefully. He tells that the daffodils are roughly concentrated in a line along the bank of the lake that seems to stretch as far as the eye can see. It creates a beautiful vision to the poet.

3. Why does the poet says- “Ten thousand saw I at a glance”? What literary device is used here and why?

Ans. The sight of the daffodils being present in large numbers along the shore of the lake, spellbind the poet that he in a quick glance guesses them to be ‘ten thousand’. The literary device used here is ‘hyperbole’. The poet has used this literary device to stress the number of daffodils in more presentable manner and to reveal the impact it has laid on him and to give a better vision of the scene.

4. What is meant by the margin of the bay?

Ans. This stanza tells us that the poet comes across near the shore of a lake. Suddenly, he is enchanted by the beauty of the waving golden daffodils which are stretched far and wide in large numbers along the margin of the bay. ‘Margin of the Bay’ in the poem, means near the shore of a lake.

5. How are the daffodils described here?

Ans. The poet says that there are a whole lot of daffodils and in a quick glance guesses them to be ‘ten thousand’. The poet says that the yellow flowers tossed their heads beautifully in the breeze as if they are engaged in a lively dance. Moreover, they gleamed and stretched ‘continuously’, without a break, like the stars in the Milky Way galaxy for putting a greater implication in indicating that the flowers are heavenly as the stars

Q. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

1. How did the daffodils outdo the waves?

Ans. The poet says that the sparkling waves danced in the breeze, but the beauty of the bright daffodils surpassed their beauty. The daffodils seemed to dance with the breeze with much more liveliness and their sight seemed happier than the waves which did not bring as much joy as the yellow flowers.

2. What is meant by jocund company? Which jocund company is the poet referring to? Why does the poet find it jocund?

Ans. Jocund company means a cheerful company of someone. In this stanza the poet by ‘jocund company’ refers to the joyful company of the daffodils and the waves. He was amazed at the beautiful vision and could not help to be happy. They were successful in changing the pensive mood of the poet.

3. How does wealth come to the poet by looking at the scene before him?

Ans. The wealth comes to the poet by an uncountable happiness from the site of daffodils. Its remembrance causes a transformation from the melancholy mood to a joyful mood and fills the poet’s heart with happiness. Sweet memories from the scene which are more valuable than money.

4. What according to the poet distinguishes the daffodils from the natural surroundings?

Ans. In these lines the poet says that there are the other things which are producing the beauty. But the happiness of the golden Daffodils is more than other natural scenes. The poet wants to be here all the day. He thinks that their value is more than money.

5. What rhyme scheme is followed in the poem? Explain the lines: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought:

Ans. The rhyme scheme followed in the poem is “ababcc”. The lines explain that the poet was so enchanted at the sight of the flowers that he kept on looking at them. It appeared that he has received some sort of precious wealth as a permanent kind of happiness far more valuable than money.

Q. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils

1. What does happen to the poet when he lies on his couch?

Ans. The poet explains that whenever he lies on his couch in a contemplative mood, the memory of the daffodils flashes through his mind which brings him happiness and he forgets his sadness. The pleasant sight of the daffodils dancing in the breeze fills his heart with joy and his heart begins to dance with the memory of the dancing daffodils.

2. Explain the transition from the poet’s pensive mood to his heart filled with joy.

Ans. When the poet comes back home and lies on his couch lonely and sad, the memory of the daffodils flashes in his mind and fills him with the same happiness as he was before at the real sight of the daffodils. This remembrance changes his pensive mood to a happy mood and his heart is filled with joy.

3. How can the heart dance?

Ans. The heart can dance when a man feels happy. His heart is filled with great pleasure and he feels great thrill. When he is relieved from all worries, when the sorrow is away from the mind of the man, then his heart is filled with joy or it dances.

4. What does the use of the phrase ‘inward eye’ imply here?

Ans. The author imagines the daffodils in his spiritual vision, for which he uses the metaphor of an “inward eye.” This means that the poet imagined in his mind the beautiful picture of the dancing daffodils and shining waves which became a part of his being.

5. What is “bliss of solitude” referred to in the extract? How does the bliss of solitude take place?

Ans. A person cannot share his or her spiritual vision completely with others so it is a form of ‘solitude’. But its truth and beauty makes it ‘blissful’. So whenever the poet is downhearted, the image of the daffodils flashes in his mind. The ‘bliss of solitude’ takes place in contrast between joy of the daffodils and his unhappiness and his heart fills with pleasure.

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